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The First Serious OptimistA. C. Pigou and the Birth of Welfare Economics$
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Ian Kumekawa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691163482

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691163482.001.0001

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(p.8) Chapter One Beginnings
The First Serious Optimist

Ian Kumekawa

Princeton University Press

This chapter describes Pigou's formative years. Born to Clarence Pigou and Nora Lees in 1877, Pigou spent the first year of his life at Beachlands and later went to school at Harrow at the age of 13. He then went on to King's College, Cambridge, and became attached to the circle of Oscar Browning, one of the chief historical reformers favoring the study of history as an end in itself. While Pigou had already begun to read economic texts as early as his Harrow years, he experienced a turning point during his second year in King's after an encounter with Alfred Marshall. The result was that Pigou was personally plucked from the study of history and mentored by the greatest economist then working in Britain.

Keywords:   Clarence Pigou, Nora Lees, Oscar Browning, historical reformer, economics, Alfred Marshall, Cambridge

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